USA :: December '96 -- May '97

Subject: Olive for Peace; Oak for Strength
Date: Tues, Feb 18, 1997

12:19 Cafeteria, State Capitol Building; Austin,Texas -- USA :: 05 FEB 97

Did you know that Texas was once a sovereign nation?

20:21 Monte Vista; Mesa, Arizona -- USA :: 18 FEB 97

I'd driven all the way from Mesa arriving in Austin late. The stay at the flea-bag motel just outside the ring road might have been more interesting but I told the young lady who first flirted with me at the office while checking in and then phoned my room, "Yes, I'm married." The motel manager, a dumpy old woman straight from your worst stereotypes of cheap motel matrons had warned, "I'd watch out for her."

The next morning became one of those travel things-- sometimes it all falls together. I'd picked my accommodation not because of it's style and comfort, but because it was late, I was tired, and it was the first motel with a vacancy on Government St. just off SR 290. In the morning the logic that, in a state capitol, Government St. would lead to the heart of town paid off.

So taking Government downtown leads directly to Austin's pink granite centre piece: the Capitol building. A beautiful thing. Two trips around it yields some free parking on the street. A brief walk in leads through the back entrance and quickly to the front foyer where a tour has just begun. Nice tour-- plenty of trivial tidbits, like the symbology of the state seal, with its olive branch for peace and oak branch for strength while the federal seal uses arrows for strength instead. An interesting choice.

There are a few other bits rattling about in my memory, but I'm done messing with Texas for the moment. After lunch in the cafeteria, I climbed back in the car and headed for bayou country.

~~~ Verify Everything Yourself ~~~
Irons in the Fire
  graphical element A poetic image read from
the facade of an Arizona business,
while driving to Austin.

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